The Raid on Troy

The Orfeo Saga Volume 7

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
216 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Raid on Troy is book seven in The Orfeo Saga by Murray Lee Eiland Jr, another fascinating entry in this series, and this time, the author revisits Greek mythology, bringing alive characters from lore in an intense, insanely absorbing read. Two slave boys, Memnon and his brother, Menas, escape slavery and establish their own power. Memnon wants the gold of Troy, so with the help of his brother, he rallies his shipmates for a deadly plan against the unfortunate Therans. The expedition quickly escalates to more power lust, scheming, intrigue, and other players in the game like Orton, a legendary warlord. Read on to discover what happens when Telemon and Orfeo join the battlefield.

Murray Lee Eiland Jr is a master storyteller with the gift of having readers seduced by his excellent writing and utterly captivated by his strong plot lines, the unexpected twists, the well-developed, beautifully fleshed-out characters. When I picked up this book, I was expecting a retelling of Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey, but I was awed by the originality in the plot and in the conflict. Readers are introduced to new and exciting characters, and those they are familiar with from Greek mythology are completely reinvented. The author creates an astonishing balance between plot, character development, and setting, and in a clear and compelling narrative voice creates scenes that are intense and spellbinding. It is rare to find a book that keeps the reader’s attention from beginning to the end without slackening somewhere, but The Raid on Troy is one of those rare ones. Be ready to be blown away by the action-packed scenes and the phenomenal conflict.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Murray Lee Eiland Jr. portrays a new twist on an ancient story in The Raid on Troy. It’s now or never for Memnon! If he is going to escape, it has to be now. Memnon has been a slave for as long as he can remember. At 14 years old, he is ready to risk his life to get off the Theran ship. Forty of the galley slaves, including his brother, flee and join the Achian army led by the infamous Telemon. After the battle, Memnon and his brother, Menas, venture out to make their claim on the world. Utilizing power and manipulation, Menas becomes ruler of Sparta, and Memnon rules Mycenae. Meanwhile, Orfeo and Clarice govern Pylos, raising their son, Kleon, who is kind and intelligent. Telemon’s heir, Orton, is sent to Pylos to be educated and trained under the guidance of his Uncle Orfeo and Aunt Clarice. Kleon and Orton are eager to learn and challenge each other in training and education. Little did the young cousins realize that they were being groomed for the battle of the ages.

Adding fresh insight to Homer’s Iliad, Murray Lee Eiland Jr. eliminates the mythology aspect in his rendition of The Raid on Troy. He concentrates on innate characteristics and the morality of his characters, dismissing the legendary altogether. The depth and fresh perspective of Homer’s renowned characters make this age-old tale entertaining. Although the beauty of a young woman plays a part in this epic historical tale, greed and ambition propel the plot. The theme of the younger teaching and leading the older is portrayed on both sides of the conflict. The villain, Memnon, is ruthless; he spends his life trying to outrun his rage, and persuades his older brother, Menas, to join in his evil escapades. The older heroic characters of Telemon and Orfeo raise their sons, Orton and Kleon, to be wise and honorable warriors. Yet, it is Kleon that instructs and leads his older cousin. But, the most notable turn of events occurs when Orfeo, the student, steps up to defend his aging master, Telemon, in battle. Nothing is better than ending a great story with a timeless truth. The Epilogue demonstrates that stories change and are embellished over time; what was once fact easily fades into fiction. The Raid on Troy was thoroughly enjoyable, proving to be one of my favorites in the Orfeo series.

Ray Simmons

The Trojan War is the stuff of myth and legend. Indeed, if any tale can be said to be a timeless classic, then this one must be one of the top contenders for that title. I have read a lot of the many versions of the war at Troy. Some of them concentrate on the myth and magic. They focus on the gods and demi-gods or the mythic warriors like Achilles and Hector. The Raid on Troy: The Orfeo Saga Book Seven by Murray Lee Eiland Jr. takes a more historical approach than most of the versions I have read. It is much more believable that this was a raid rather than a ten-year full-blown war as we would think of war today. The characters portrayed are the same ones we read in Homer’s version, but they seem a little more human here. They are more petty, jealous and selfish. That is probably why it is so much fun to read about them.

I liked The Raid on Troy, but I admit that I was a big fan of this story before I read Murray Lee Eiland Jr’s version. I like his version. It is unique. He does his historical homework and you can feel it as you read. The plot has, of course, been tested by the passage of time, but The Raid on Troy added some elements that I had never come upon in the many books and movies I have read and seen before. I don’t really know how this book stands compared to other volumes in The Orfeo Saga, but it is a great stand-alone read if you want a new and exciting twist on the old familiar tale.